Lesson to Leominster, Fitchburg kids goes beneath the surface

Sentinel & Enterprise
February 12, 2012

LEOMINSTER — Children from the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster recently saw the effects of water pollution and contamination on marine life, thanks to a hands-on demonstration from an expert.

When researchers examine the overall experience of migratory fish, they have to take into account not only the migratory habits and challenges, but also the environmental challenges that exist even apart from migration. The water table structure is altered with dams and its condition is altered with pollutants, sometimes as a result of development, both residential and commercial.

Recently, Mike Scherer, a volunteer from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection showed the members a model of the various soils at various depths underground. He explained that sometimes when we dig wells to draw water or install waste-elimination structures, a failure in one part can result in contamination of another part. If a layer of large rock lays beneath a sandy layer, the water can be carried along very quickly, and so can pollution and contamination. One leaky septic system can result in contamination being carried miles away, since ground water moves, sometimes very quickly.

They all caught on, were fascinated, made predictions and got the point clearly that cleanup can sometimes seem next to impossible. This ties back into the need to care for our environment if we wish to preserve species of migratory fish and other animals in an ecosystem.